The Virginia Symphony Orchestra is a world-class classical orchestra, but they also do Pops superbly. There is a VSO Pops concert on Saturday, November 3 at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk – “The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel” that you will not want to miss.
If you are of a certain age, like me, the music of Simon & Garfunkel was the music you listened to over and over again in your college dorm until you wore out that vinyl. You do not have to be a certain age to love this music. It is timeless. It is beautiful. It is soulful. It rocks.
Put a full symphony orchestra behind two talented singers, Al Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle, who have been perfecting the harmonies of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel for years, and there will be beautiful music. Music that might take you back in time or just makes you so glad to be right there, at Chrysler Hall on November 3.
Conducting that evening will be the man who conceived this show, Michael Krajewski, Music Director of the Philly Pops and Principal Pops Conductor of the Atlanta and Jacksonville Symphonies.
Krajewski and I are about the same age. We both grew up in Detroit. We both have degrees from Wayne State University. We both went to the Detroit Symphony concerts for kids that were held at the now long-gone Ford Auditorium that sat on the banks of the Detroit River. We both started piano lessons at age six. Krajewski went on to become a conductor. “Imagine what a thrill it was for me to end up conducting those very same concerts for kids at the start of my career years later, when I became assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony.” I quit piano lessons at age eleven, but I became a lover of music, all shapes, and all sizes. I grew up on Motown, but still love the classics.
Krajewski is a classically trained musician. He has been conducting Pops concerts for the past nineteen years. He says, “I really enjoy the variety of musical styles associated with pops concerts: movie music, Broadway show tunes, top forties hits, etc.”
“The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel” came about when Krajewski saw a video of Swearingen and Beedle covering Simon and Garfunkel songs. He got in touch with them and asked if they would be interested in performing with a full orchestra. He felt that “an orchestra could add a new dimension to these wonderful songs that mean so much to so many people.” Together, they’ve performed Simon and Garfunkel classics, like “Sounds of Silence,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Mrs. Robinson,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with orchestras around the country. Krajewski is looking forward to conducting this program with the VSO in Norfolk.
Just typing the names of these songs takes me straight back to my corner room in Trowbridge Hall at Kalamazoo College where my roommate and I would try to console home-sick freshmen with the “Sounds of Silence” playing in the background. It worked somehow. Maybe it was the music. They say music soothes the soul. The music of Simon and Garfunkel sooths my soul for sure.
For more information and to purchase tickets for “The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel” go to https://virginiasymphony.org/simon-and-garfunkel/